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Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 | 4 comments

Traveling Del Ray’s Alleys

Traveling Del Ray’s Alleys

Do you walk down alleys for fun? I’ve got a fascination with them — there’s a sense of calm, peace and a little mystery that draws me down their narrow pathways.


The alley behind my house is pretty crusty, but there are some in Del Ray that are quite amazing. It’s the side of Del Ray you won’t see advertised on the Home and Garden Tour and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a home listing flaunting a for-sale property’s proximity to a cool alley, it’s “the Avenue” after all that is the neighborhood draw.


More than just access for trash trucks and cars, some of the best alleys are lined with lush green trees, flowers and interesting structures. I love the canopy the trees provide in this alley, as well as the unpaved natural drive. Timeless, like an episode of the Andy Griffith Show.


You might not see a fabulous bird condo in the front yard of a Del Ray house, but behind this alley you can catch a closer look at some amazing avian architecture. Del Ray alleys, where birds live the good life.


A modest bird cottage in a vibrant shade of gold also creates comfort in an alley.


Garages, carriage houses and backyard details are typically hidden from street view. Walk down the alley, you’re bound to discover something unexpected.



A chain-link fence gate gets a regal spruce-up with a pair of dog handles. Woof.


And how about this stone, brick and tile fireplace — what was it once used for? Does it still work? Why were so many different materials used?


If you’re a curb shopper like me, you’ll want to walk the alleys on trash day — you never know what treasure you will find. I salvaged a pair of mahogony dining chairs which I cleaned and gave new seat cushions.

chairs found in garbage

But what really makes the alleys shine is the flowers — and oh so many flowers there are. This is where people store their trash cans? No, this is a magnificent garden paradise.




Are you an alley walker? Do you have any favorites in Del Ray?


  1. In the Midwest, nearly everyone had a rhubarb patch back by the alley and garage. Now rhubarb is hard to find even at farmers markets.

    • That’s so interesting! How difficult is it to grow rhubarb?

  2. That’s great to hear that Del Ray is supportive. After years of neglect and vandalism in our alley in Old Town, we banded together this year, hauled in top soil, built garden beds and planted wildflowers, herbs, and other perennials in our alley to change the vibe. It was looking great, until the city came through last month and cut down/ripped out our plantings to let the weeds grow back. We submitted complaints and tickets to the city, however our tickets were deleted and no explanation ever made. It took a month of nurturing, but things have rebounded, until the city comes by with their weed wacker again….. I’m still unsure why the city prefers weeds and trash over wildflowers and herbs.

    • Wow — that’s terrible Jordan. Would love to see the plantings — would you be willing to share the location with us so we can take a look before it gets chopped again? You can email

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